How to make an editorial comment in a front-page layout …

Not sure how deliberately The Globe juxtaposed an Andrew Scheer profile with a climate-strike march to make a statement about Scheer on the Environment – but it really doesn’t matter.  Scheer did that on his own.

In Vancouver, he took that day when a hundred thousand marched on climate to announce money for highway expansion.  (Because more lanes means less pollution because that always works.)

And that’s got to be deliberate.

Though the message may be oblique, it’s clear evidence that Scheer discounts climate change whether as a political issue or as reality.  He’s basically doing a Harper 2.0 – similar to Stephen Harper’s Arctic tours when the words ‘climate change’ never passed his lips.  Harper’s message to other decision-makers: don’t take climate change too seriously. I have no intention of doing anything drastic.  You don’t have to either.”

Scheer looks to continue that strategy.  Reality might make a difference in Scheer’s indifference, but not mass marches.

Is he, then, an extinctionist?* – the ultimate pragmatist.

I doubt he’s reached the point where extinction of some kind seems so inevitable that it shapes his policy.  But I think he believes he can afford to be indifferent now.

So Andrew Scheer is an extinctionist-in-making.  Perhaps already made.


*What’s an extinctionist?  Here’s my definition:

Leaders and decision-makers who accept extinction – minor or major, local and global – as an acceptable outcome of climate change; and justify it in order to maximize power and benefit.

It’s not that they are so sociopathic they don’t care or will even revel in the apocalyptic.  But they are resigned to the inevitability of the threat and believe we are powerless to do anything consequential about it .  They therefore have to accept when making decisions that will hasten extinction, particularly for immediate benefit, that that’s okay.  Not desired, not expected, but possible.  An acceptable outcome to consider.


  1. In your definition I wouldn’t limit extinctionists to leaders and decision-makers. Unless it is broadly applied that everybody makes decisions – but I don’t think that’s what you meant. It is extinctionists in general who allow extinctionists to become leaders. Without them they could not win elections.

    It is not a coincidence that extinctionists are generally religious and particularly fundamentalist Christian. Who are they to interfere with God’s plan to destroy the earth as is foretold? The right wing make appeals to the religious for this very reason – using them for their profit. Yet cynically they don’t even follow through in delivering the policies and laws that the religious folks are looking for. In fact they flat out state they won’t. They can get away with that because it’s the closest the religious can get and they’re hoping for a Hail Mary change in their policy (pun intended).

    1. Prejudice[1] is an affective feeling towards a person based on that person’s perceived group membership. The word is often used to refer to a preconceived, usually unfavourable, evaluation of another person based on that person’s political affiliation, sex, gender, beliefs, values, social class, age, disability, religion, sexuality, race/ethnicity, language, nationality, beauty, occupation, education, criminality, sport team affiliation or other personal characteristics.

      1. Wow! Did you create a new username just for me? I feel honoured.

        Note that I didn’t say religious people, nor even fundamentalist Christians are predominantly extinctioninsts. If you are saying extinctionists are now a perceived group to which we can assign prejudice then fair enough. It’s like saying mass murders usually have mental health issues which would, of course, be prejudice against mass murders. If I said people with mental health issues are likely to be mass murders that certainly would be prejudice against people with mental health issues.

        If you think extinctionism is a value that society should uphold then you’ll have to sell me on that. I personally put it in the same category as mass murder.

        Do you deny that there are many fundamentalist Christians that see the looming climate catastrophe as proof of the word of God? Evince of Armageddon? Something to welcome as God’s punishment against the wickedness of men? There are loads of fundamentalists churches who preach along those lines. Even those followers who might bristle at so harsh an outlook may now do the righteous thing and resist all attempts at helping solve the problem or even happily do God’s will and help it along. Do you deny that much of the political far right courts these very people?

        Personally I find it to be an incredibly dangerous reality that pits us mere mortals trying to save ourselves from ourselves as defiant against the Almighty – an absurd argument you can’t win, but one that plays a horrifyingly large role in this crisis.

        You can try to convince me otherwise.

  2. If Mr Scheer does indeed think climate change is real, then yes, your definition of him is warranted. Even if the pipeline (just one example) is another nail in the coffin, if it’ll make someone a quick buck, then he’s all in favour. I mean, why not?

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